Although Charlie was looking forward to being released from prison, life for him was complicated when he first commenced ReLink.

Not long before, someone who Charlie was really close to had died, and the grief from this was a challenge for the mental health issues he was experiencing. All this, as well as a lack of community connections, meant Charlie's ReLink coordinator needed to develop a plan that would support him in a successful transition.

Together, Charlie and the ReLink coordinator worked to secure suitable housing he could easily navigate with the physical issues he was managing by referring him to the Prisoner Disability Support Initiative (PDSI). However, when the PDSI advised that Charlie was ineligible, the ReLink team collaborated with a Justice Liaison Officer and the Specialist Case Management team from within the prison to apply to the NDIS on Charlie's behalf.

Charlie's transition plan also included support for grief counselling, creating opportunities to build friendships, connect with community, and continue with his painting, a potential means of income. The Torch Project, which provides art support to people who are / have been incarcerated, assisted Charlie in setting him up in a studio, equipped with art supplies upon his release from prison.

During Charlie's engagement with ReLink, he expressed that he was now hopeful about creating a bright future for himself. A connection to culture, an intention to express through art, and the support of the ReLink coordinator gave Charlie the self-belief and motivation to support his healing process and positive reintegration into community.

Read more about the ReLink Program.